Event planners can be masters at delivering the best presentations. Everyone in the room is intent on learning more, sold on your services, and ready to hire you for their big event. But you’re still in jeopardy of losing the deal. If you don’t follow through with the follow-up steps, you might be opening yourself up for failure.
So, in exploring new ways to improve your process, take a look at your current sales introduction, presentation, and follow-up steps. And keep reading. We’ll share a few of the latest trends and proven methods of prospect follow-up for New York event planners to close more deals and build relationships beyond the presentation.
1. Do You Have Follow-Up Hustle?
The first way to improve your follow-up is by pulse-checking your current follow-up hustle. If you don’t have a strategy for following up with your event clients, you’re missing out on lost revenue. And you can follow up after more than just the big presentation, too. For example, you should have a timeline and plan for following up after an initial introduction, a first meeting, a presentation, and after the event. Every prospect will fall into a different point in your sales funnel. And it’s the next step hustle that will continue to move those prospects on to the next phase of the buyers’ journey and relationship building.
2. What Happens If You Don’t Follow Up Effectively
If your follow-up game isn’t on point, a few things will happen. Your clients will take control of the timeline and follow up with you only when they’re ready to make a decision. This waiting game could put you out of the running for this particular event if it takes too long. Not following up within a timely manner also means you lose all that positive momentum you built up during the presentation. The pot was boiling hot, but once it’s off the stove, it won’t take long to cool down. And maybe, the most critical pitfall of not following up is losing the chance to overcome any last-minute objections. For these three reasons alone, it’s worth improving your follow-up strategy.
3. The Fine Line Between Waiting and Closing
Most New York event planners recognize the importance of following up with prospects. But the challenge is knowing when to follow up and when to give a client some space to make their decisions. You don’t want to be over-salesy and pushy. But you'll want to be especially mindful not to allow too much time to pass before you reach out again. Here are the best practices to consider.
- If they’re undecided for too long, you haven’t addressed their pain points properly. Time is of the essence, especially in event planning. If there are objections on the table with price, timelines, or services, they won’t move forward without you addressing them.
- Go until it’s a no. Don’t stop following up, no matter what, until you officially get the no. If they still act like they’re considering the next steps.
- Get an idea of how much time they need. Instead of leaving the follow-up timeline open-ended, ask for specifics about following back up in a few days or a date the following week. Schedule the follow-ups and next steps timelines before leaving the presentation or signing off.
4. Following Up in Person
Especially since the pandemic, following up in person isn’t always the best way to go. But if your event conference client is a corporate entity with a business office, a pitstop with fresh donuts can be a great way to remind decision-makers that you’re waiting for a response. Don’t ask for an answer on the spot. Instead, bring something with you and only ask for a good time for a follow-up phone call.
5. Following Up via Email
Probably the most common channel for presentation follow-up is the email inbox. But if you’re not crafting your messages correctly, you might still be missing opportunities. Each email correspondence, after you’ve delivered your proposal, should be brief, with an honest and transparent request for the next steps. You can try to recap the benefits of working with you or price point advantages, but don’t resell yourself or get lengthy. Add value when applicable with a PS of tips or New York events happening over the weekend.
6. The Follow Up Phone Calls
The phone call can be your greatest follow-up asset. But it can also be the most annoying. In general, it’s best to call at different times of the business day since some people are more available in the morning or the afternoon. Leave a voicemail the first if your call goes unanswered. If you call again within the next 48 hours, don’t keep leaving voicemails. Don’t overburden your prospect with more than three calls in that 48-hour window. A CRM tool can be helpful for you to stay on top of an appropriate call schedule that won’t be a nuisance.
7. Social Media Is Open Territory
If your event planning prospects are individuals or families looking to plan a bar mitzvah, a wedding, or a milestone birthday, it might be best that you follow up more casually with social media. Stay on their radar with quick and valuable messages making yourself available for additional questions. But much like the other follow-up channels, don’t overuse DMs and risk invading their personal space.
8. The Value of Hand-Written Thank You Notes
Not every client prospect is going to expect or appreciate a thank you note. But for some, especially corporate-level decision-makers for event conferences or company events, the handwritten thank you can go a long way to separate your planning services from the competition. Gary Vaynerchuck wrote about the value of handwritten notes in making formidable impressions, too. Just make sure they’re authentic and don’t read as a generic or forced sentiment.
So, how effective is your follow-up hustle? Consider these suggestions and best practices to explore ways to improve how you seal the deal with your event planning prospects. For more ideas, from how to generate leads to bar mitzvah planning, check out our ongoing Expo blog series.